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Andrea Mitchell Reports

News/Business. Interviews with political figures with host Andrea Mitchell. New.

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Connecticut 23, Us 16, Susan Paige 8, Pete Williams 8, Jay Carney 8, Colorado 8, New York City 7, Fbi 7, Virginia Tech 7, Malloy 7, Danbury 6, Carney 6, John Brennan 5, America 5, New York 4, Collin Goddard 4, Craig 3, David Gregory 3, Paul Vance 3, Virginia 3,
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  MSNBC    Andrea Mitchell Reports    News/Business. Interviews with political  
   figures with host Andrea Mitchell. New.  

    December 14, 2012
    10:00 - 11:00am PST  

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there are numerous children. pete's information that is that there are as many as 20 possibly 20 or more children who have been shot. with me here at the table is david gregory, host of "meet the press" and also susan paige, bureau chief with usa today. we are told that the gunman is dead and told by danbury hospital that is a trauma, three -- that at least three patients were admitted there. the hospital is in lockdown as a precaution. david, how do we absorb this kind of unfolding horror? >> well, i think very slowly as we get more details, and this is just horrifying. you know, i have three young kids, and, unfortunately, they're subjected to drills now in schools with this kind of scenario of a gunman coming in, how to stay safe. it's a very difficult thing to discuss with children, but we
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are in the middle of what is an unfold and a horrifying situation, so we'll await for the details, but there very quickly becomes a national conversation, not just absorbing these details and warning, but also about some kind of debate about guns in our culture that we never seem to really get around to have. after mass shootings, we say, well, is it not appropriate to have some sort of discussion? well, we'll do it later. we've had a congresswoman shot. we'll do it later. presidential race comes and goes, no big debate about gun violence in this country. i think we know that those debates get renewed in this town and beyond. that will be part of this. at the moment we're going to be monitoring a breaking situation with all of the horrifying and chilling details. >> in fact, only 24 hours ago on this program we had people from the brady campaign talking about the fact that 40% of the guns that get out there are sold
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on-line with no back ground check. 40%. no background checks at all. susan paige, you were just sharing that one governor -- a governor in a western state has now spoken out. of course, aurora fresh on their memories there as well as the rest of the nation. has spoken out in terms of some gun control. let me just update from wnorthbound's jonathan dietz, and this is very preliminary and we know these numbers are going to change, and the story will evolve, but a law enforcement official who jonathan, who is our experienced criminal justice reporter in new york at wnbc is reporting that a law enforcement official in the area is saying that 17 or 18 children may, in fact, be dead and that seven or eight adults as well are believed killed. >> well, first, of course, our thoughts and prayers are with those people with their family members who are now, i'm sure, trying to find out what happened. we hope that situation -- we -- our thoughts are with them. david is exactly right.
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there's been no debate about gun control in this country for years, despite a series of these horrific shootings. i wonder if that's about to change. governor hickenlooper, the very popular governor of colorado, says enough time has passed since that movie theater shooting that was so horrific says now may be the time in january for the legislature there to talk about gun control, and michael bloomberg, who is about to leave as mayor of new york says he wants to be a counterweight to the nra and has made some contributions in this past election for candidates who are willing to talk about gun control. >> exactly. countrying melvin has an update on what is happening in connecticut as we await the news conference from law enforcement and hospital officials. craig. >> hey there, andrea. just -- i heard the conversation briefly. i do want to update the numbers right now. this is, again, according to nbc news.com. at this point 4 killed, 24 killed in that school shooting including 17 children. again, as you just indicated, those numbers are expected to change, but, again, at this point, 24 killed.
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17 of them are children. we are awaiting a news conference as well. there are numerous injuries as well as you might imagine. this is newtown, connecticut, for folks who are not familiar. this town is roughly about 27,000, 28,000 folks who live there. i live roughly 15, 20 minutes away from newtown, connecticut. it's a very small town, and this is one of those stories that affects you in a very personal -- even if you don't have children, for instance, one of our directors who works here at msnbc, i just saw him before i came out here. he was rushing home. he has a daughter who goes to this school, thankfully, according to his wife, his daughter is okay. he has talked to a number of parents who have children in this school who have described in vivid detail what transpired there some hours ago. some of the stories we are going to hear play out here over the mechanics few hours, but
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according to him, according to the director, one of the things that happened inside that school based on conversations that he had with his wife, at one point when the shooting started there were a number of adults in that building, presumably 250e67ers, but a number of adults who managed somehow to block some of the gunfire, so there are going to be some stories of heroism that come out of this, but at this point those aren't the stories that we're talking about. this is a tragedy that is, as of right now, this is the worst school shooting in american history. 24 killed, and, again, those numbers expected to change. we are awaiting a couple of different press conferences right now. we are waiting to hear from law enforcement. at that point we should find out a little bit more about the circumstances perhaps that led to the shooting. we heard from our justice correspondent pete williams a short time ago. what we know about the gunmen, according to pete, is that he is 20 years old.
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there have been some other reports indicating that he did have a relationship to a child in the school, that he may have been the father of one of the students, but, again, at this point we don't know a great deal about the gunman other than the fact that he is dead, so, again, as we continue to await -- again, i have just been told during the course of our conversation here that the death toll is now gone from 24 to 26 now. 26 dead, 18 children, eight adults. as you indicated, andrea, those numbers we expect to change. i'll send it back to you right now. >> pete is reporting now. pete williams is reporting that according to federal officials the total number of dead now are 26. obviously fast-moving events as we await for law enforcement, we've been told by jay carney that the president was notified in the oval office at 10:30 this morning by jon brennan, his homeland security advisor of the evolving situation in connecticut. we can see that ambulances and
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emergency responders went to the scene immediately. there were, of course, horrifically children witnessing all of this. here's some of what they said. >> i was in a gym, and i heard a loud -- well, i heard, like, seven loud booms, and the gym teachers told us to go in the corner, so we all huddled, and i kept hearing these booming noises, and we all started -- well, we didn't scream. we started crying. so all the gym teachers told us to go into the office where no one could find us, so then a police officer came in and told us to run outside, so we did, and we came in the firehouse and waited for our parents. >> there were other eyewitnesss, other children also responding. >> is he with her, thank god, and they went into a corner, and
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they didn't move until they found out what happened and the principal was killed and some other people were shot, and i don't know anything else. >> susan paige and david gregory here with me in the studio as we watch these scenes unfold and we're waiting for law enforcement news conference. david, as the father of three children, three young children, you know that schools are now in a completings completely different zone preparing for these kinds of emergencies, and teaching children how to deal with it. >> that piece is so important as well. we watch these pictures, and we await details. all of the horrifying details as these numbers come in. some of the context is that, as i say, schools are doing all kinds of drills. they do fire drills. in the west they do earthquake drills, but they're also doing lockdown drills where they anticipate a shooter coming on campus and getting the kids in a
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lockdown situation, be it in a gym. it might be in a closet in their cubbies. it could be in their rooms. it could be in the bathroom. they drild drill this with kids as young as 5, 6, 7 years old. i know this from firsthand experience. the additional challenge -- the fact that they have to do this in the first place is how families can discuss this with their children, and i can just tell you, it's a very tough conversation to have with their children, as i did recently talk about columbine and why you would do this kind of the massacre at columbine in colorado some years ago, why this would happen, and it's a struggle for families to talk about, for schools to talk about. they advise, by the way, not necessarily going into that sort of detail. and the reprecussions are far and wide.
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what we're primarily focused about is, as susan said, just a moment ago is how awful this is for everyone who is involved, how everyone is touched by the initial shock waves of this tragedy that we're watching unfolding right now. so many of us can be empathetic about this, just watching the pictures come in. >> as we've been reporting, pete williams arks consideringed to federal law enforcement, officials and the fbi has the lead here now supporting the local and state officials. we're talking about 18 children reportedly dead, eight adults. we know of at least three individuals who were brought to the danbury hospital, which is a trauma three hospital. the president having been informed at 10:30 this morning by john brennan. obviously they are tracking it very closely at the white house. the state has the lead, but the fbi supports local law
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enforcement and local responders who came to the incident. the local police department has about 46 or 47 officers. this is a small community about an hour and a half outside of new york city. >> as david said, hard to explain to our kids. hard to explain to ourselves. what in the world has happened here? all these kids killed by a lone gunman in an elementary school just before christmas? i mean, it's just impossible to understand. >> here are some of the initial police transmission tapes when the calls came in. >> indicated she thinks there's someone shooting in the building. >> the individual that i have on the phone is continuing to hear what he believes to be gunfire. responding at this time. the shooting appears to have stopped. the school is in lockdown. >> roger.
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>> there are reports that two shooters were seen running past the gym, which would be the rear -- shooting. >> you are requested to stage at methodist church. i will need two ambulances at this time. >> now, this is the newtown police, the police chief and commander there is chief michael keho. they have a total of 47 sworn officers in uniform. i'm here with susan paige and draifd gregory, and we're waiting for the law enforcement officials who presumably are trying to get the latest information. we know that the shooter has been killed. there are lockdowns at all schools and at the hospital which we are told by hospital officials about 20 minutes ago was precautionary to makes sure that the hospital employees felt safe and that the security and privacy of victims was preserved. they are clearly worried about outsiders and even the news media trying to get information
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or get in. we're talking about newtown, connecticut. the population there as of the last census was 27,550. it's northern fairfield county 45 miles southwest of hartford, 80 miles northeast of new york city. about an hour and a half. susan paige and david gregory, when we talk about gun violence in this country, are we not talking about second amendment rights? we're talking, as i was discussing with the brady campaign officials yesterday about reasonable background checks, reasonable controls, automatic weaponry and ammo. the multiple rounds that cause the greatest amount of violence. remember the names. we remember littleton, colorado, april 20th, 1999, columbine, you just referred to. this history -- aurora. obviously, what happened to gabby giffords, out of school context, but gun violence has been epidemic in this country going back for decades and we go
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through temporary periods after the reagan assassination attempt and after, you know, several of these other incidents where we have an assault weapon ban and then it is permitted to expire. >> we know the contours of this debate, and it will get heated after an appropriate period of mourning and absorb this tragedy, but it is worth adding all sides of the debate. we don't know what the motive is here. we don't know more about the shooter. we don't know about the weapon involved. we know this is another horrifying case of gun violence. >> here we have hundreds of children in an elementary school. children age 5 to 10 years old. here is one of the children after this morning's terrible incident, which apparently started around 9:30 when the kids were all in -- >> i was -- i went in the hall when, like, everybody heard the
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bullets. >> yeah. >> they, like, went into a total panic. >> how are you doing? what went on in your head as this was happening? >> whoa. >> whoa. i am just -- >> it's also -- >> fear and shock. bloo to think about even the kids that witnessed them being witnessed to or thinking about it. the issue about what we don't know about what motivated the shooter, so many facts we don't know, and we shouldn't speculate about. one obvious point that comes up, you heard in the 911 call, andrea, this was a school that was in lockdown. there are lockdown provisions in place in schools across the country. i know i think you can watch this and have an immediate reaction. just anyone from walking up to our school campuses with a gun and doing this sort of violence. that's something that will be looked at as that is to
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contemplate. >> gun control not an issue at all in the presidential campaign. we just had. the only time i remember being raised was during that debate, the town hall debate in new york where a woman in the audience stood up and asked president obama about trying to extend reenact the ban on assault weapons, which has not been something that either side has been willing to discuss at any great extent. >> what do we do to get to deal with that? culturally, what do we do with mentally disabled people? how do we address this? again, in this situation, we have no idea what the access to weapons here, what any of those factors were? we won't speculate about that. we have another horrifying episode of gun violence and it involves children and, unfortunately, that is going to only heighten the vitreal on both sides, but it's going to
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heighten everyone's awareness about this and the discussion about it many the most horrifying of ways because of who is involved. >> the fact that it's an elementary school -- we've had virginia tech as horrifying as all of these incidences are, i think no one seeing the face of that little boy who presumably should not have been interviewed in the first place, but was clearly in shock and was trying to cope with the emotion of what he had just experienced. >> right. there is, you know, as -- i talk to my own kids and i talk to other kids. there is such an age of curiosity. my guess is that that last young man was probably 6 years old or so, and, you know, there's a tremendous amount of curiosity in the most basic ways about why something like this would happen. i don't think we can answer that any better as adults thinking about it, but there would be a lot of questions and i suspect there's principals around the country is that -- >> we are seeing this could be
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the press conference with the law enforcement officials. it's not about -- it's about to start. they're setting up the microphones. as soon as they are ready to go, we're going to go with them. you can see also that from those aerial shots that they are still making sure that the area is secure. pete williams said that it is not entirely clear that -- we know that one of -- one shooter is believed dead, but it's not entirely clear that there was only one person involved. that there is some confusion about that. we're waiting for connecticut state police. they are being supported by the fbi just to recap. we're talking about newtown square, connecticut, about 80 miles plus from new york city. a small community. a small elementary school. children believe it goes from the fifth grade usually and then they usually go to a middle school. >> then oh usually they go on to middle school as well. all schools in the area obviously in lockdown. greg melvin, let's recap what
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jay carney had to say when the president was notified at 10:30 this morning in the oval office by john brennan. >> no presidential reaction just yet, but his spokesman jay carney did say during a news conference a short time ago in part, "i think it's important on a day like today to view this as in the eyes of a father and others that are parents certainly do which is to feel enormous sympathy for families that are affected." again, that coming from jay carney about an hour or so ago. that school that you mentioned there, sandy hook elementary school, it's a k through 4 school, we're told. that means that the kids who go to school there are somewhere between 5 and 10 years old. we do know that after that call came in at about 9:40 this morning that law enforcement evacuated classroom by classroom. they went room by room.
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those nearby the school, we're told, took in some of the students as well. at this point as you guys just indicated, we are still waiting to find out more about the gunman. at this point all we know, according to -- >> craig, let me just interrupt you. pete williams is now reporting that a second person is in custody, so there may have been more than one gunman involved, but at least one more person, according to pete, has been taken into custody. >> second person in custody. again, at this point we know that there are two handguns found at the scene. we also, according to the information we've been given, we also know the gunman discovered at the scene was wearing all black. that is some new information that we found out here over the past 20 or 30 minutes, but 20 years old, wearing all black. it's starting to sound, unfortunately, like he was dawning the uniform of some of the other shooters that we have spent a fair amount of time talking about here over the past few years. >> we can see as you can see
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there in that area near the school, the law enforcement, connecticut state officials are going to be holding a news conference. we will, of course, bring that to you as soon as it happens. susan paige, we were talking earlier about the political impact of this. the president now is going to be pressed and as a democratic leader he was asked, as you pointed out, at one of the debates about gun control, but he is not des moinesing to be pressed by activists and advocates that have long want to have a national conversation. >> maybe the timing is better for him at least. he is not running for re-election. he has been re-elected. you know, democrats who have been the party that has pushed gun control really pulled back from it at a time they thought it was costing them support in states that where guns are important to the culture or where a lot of people hunt. that would include a state like colorado. that's one reason i think it's significant that colorado, which has been the scene of a terrible shooting, two terrible
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shootings, three, i guess, terrible shootings in colorado, that they -- that state legislature may move ahead at the governor's -- >> very significant. >> that would be a significant development. >> pete williams joins us now from the newsroom. what is the latest? >> a couple of things. to emphasize, andrea, in terms of the numbers, you know, we're still trying to sort this out as the authorities are. we believe the number of children killed is 18. the number of adults is either 8 or 9. we're still not sure whether that number includes the gunman or not. now, there is a question here about whether there was just one gunman. everything we've been told indicates that there was, but there is a second person, we're told, in custody, who is being questioned now by the state authorities, who was seen running from the school about the time that the shooting began. was this someone who was somehow involved in the shooting, or was this somebody who simply happened to walk into the school for whatever business they may have had at the moment when the
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shooting began and was running away? so we're waiting to see how that resolves. obviously, the shooting investigation is being conducted by the state authorities. they're in charge here. the local police and the state police. federal agencies are assisting as asked by the state authorities, and there will probably be some federal issues here. if it turns out, as we've been told initially, that the person who did the shooting is living in connecticut -- was lig in connecticut, but had some connection to new jersey, so it still isn't clear why this particular school was -- did the gunman have some grievance about the school, what the reason is? that is still very unclear at this point. >> pete, when we talk about this kind of violence and about the fatalities, we also know that there have been injuries. we know of at least three people taken to the danbury hospital. do we know if some of those were among those that died in this, or are there others who are
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injured? >> i believe there are others who are injured, andrea, as you say, and the one thing i would emphasize here is that this is the single most difficult scenario for a school to defend itself from because the number of school shootings in america has been rapidly in decline over the last decade or 15 years since they peaked in the late 1990s around the -- with the columbine shooting, and since then the number of school shootings has gone down for a number of reasons. teachers now have better training to spot potential trouble. other students are told to report cries situations where they think other students are out of control, better anti-bullying programs, law enforcement people in the schools. all of hose things together are able to spot potential trouble signs from the source of what the school shootings were at their peak, which is other young people shooting their fellow
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classmates. this is a situation that's very difficult to defend against when you have an adult walking into the school, so it's the worst possible situation for a school, the hardest thing to defend itself against. >> just briefly, i know you have to go, pete, to do more reporting, but do wynn anything about the security and whether there are magnetometers or security officials or any kind of checks on -- at the elementary school level, especially in a community like this? this would seem strange, wouldn't it, in this kind of community, in a suburban or rural community? >> we'll start with metal detectors. they are the exception, not the rule in public schools in america. they tend to be in big cities. 234 areas where there has been a problem with guns, knives, other weapons of the past. very few elementary schools in america have metal detectors. >> thank you very much, pete williams. i know you are going to continue
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reporting. connecticut state police are going to be reporting. we're talking about so far 26 dead, 18 children, we believe, eight or possibly nine adults. we don't know according to pete as to whether one of those adults was the shooter himself, second person has at least been detained for questioning. was seen running away from the school. don't know if that person was involved, and law enforcement officials there, the connecticut state police, have the lead as well as local officials with the assist of the fbi, the governor malloy is on the scene. any other information? >> we do know that the governor has been many communication with president obama. we also know at this point that it is expected. it is likely that the president will have? sg to say about this, whether it's a statement or otherwise we'll have to wait and see. again, andrea, this is what we were tug about. the second deadliest school shooting in u.s. history, second
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only to virginia tech back in 2007. at this point what we know is that the gunman who is dead was a 20-year-old from connecticut. he was wearing all black. he was carrying two handguns, we're told, from one of the students at sandy hook elementary school he told our affiliate there in connecticut, he says that he was in the gym. he heard a loud boom. then he heard seven more loud booms. the gym teachers told the kids at that point to get in the car and all the kids huddled. in fact, in fact, here's one of those eyewitness accounts. >> she came out. she was crying. all the other students were crying. the thing she told me was that it really started when she heard gunshots and she heard screams on the intercom. the intercomcame on, and there were screams. you know, the school went on lockdown, and based on what she said, she was in art class, and they were hiding in the closet, and tiny closet all bundled up,
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and they were hearing screams and it was horrible. >> earlier you told me you find this situation to be disgusting, that anyone would do anything like this. >> it truly is. it's sickening. it's horrible that some people, you know, think that they can do this stuff. it's unfortunately a growing trend here in the united states, and it's just horrible. >> again, you also told me that state police actually told your sister and her class to close their eyes. describe that scene to me. >> correct. when they were leaving the schools, the school has a really one big hallway. it's shaped like a square. they were leaving the school. the state troopers and the fbi, whoever was there, they were telling all the children to hold hands and close their eyes until they were outside, so, i mean, obviously what was in there must have been very gruesome and my sister said she -- what she saw was just police everywhere. police with guns in every corner. >> a terrifying situation. mark, thank you so much for
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speaking with me. i'm glad your sister is okay. thank you very much. again, that's just one of the eyewitness accounts there from sandy hook. for folks who are not familiar with newtown, this is a small scenic town. it's a very small town just about 27,000, 28,000 folks who live there. it's 60 miles northeast of here in new york city. the white house spokesman jay carney, again, earlier today in a news conference, he did not say that this was the time to start a conversation about gun control in this country. today was a day to grieve and to mourn and to try to figure out precisely what happened here. again, we are waiting on that news conference, andrea, to find out, again, precisely what went down this morning in sandy hook elementary school. >> thanks, craig. susan paige is here with me. suzanne, we've talked about these incidents before.
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gabby giffords galvanized the nation. that not a school incident, but children were killed in that, in fact, among the dead. it was a child that had gone to the congress on the corner gathering place as an object lesson in scitizenship. what has to happen for this to have a critical mass as far as a political issue? >> that's the right question. is this the moment or not? wfk, it's true that this is not the day to talk about the politics of it. we're still trying to figure out what happened, and we're still thinking about the people who have been hurt, but is this the tipping point? i don't know the answer to that. you know, it's -- i guess we've come to expect that at colleges and even in high schools that kids will be prepared for terrible situations like this, but this is a school -- this is a kindergarten to fourth grade school, and they've apparently also had lockdown protocols established with these kids that
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they were following. thank goodness they were. the idea that they felt it was necessary and that it turned out to be necessary, what does that say? >> as we wait for the law enforcement, for the connecticut state troopers to give their reports, obviously, they are trying to figure out what the situation is on the ground. we know that the shooter, one shooter, is dead. pete williams is reporting that a second person, the second man, has been detained, is being questioned, has been arrested. we have correspondent on the scene and en route to the scene as well. we're talking about several hundred children who were evacuated from the school, and we're told, according to that eyewitness, to avert their eyes because of what had happened, the carnage around them. >> it's such a horrifying picture of these -- you can just picture these children holding hands, closing their eyes and walking past what must have been carnage. the little boy that we heard earlier talk about what he heard and his reaction.
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they said how are you feeling. awhat did you think? he said whoa. just really tumpz -- certainly something he will never forget. >> some of the eyewitness accounts as the children were being evacuated, they were seeing this kind of horrific pictures as well as hearing the sounds. joining us now is jeffrey goldberg from "the atlantic." jeffrey, you have covered these kinds of incidents before. this is a debate this country has not been willing to engage in. >> it hasn't been willing to engage in. after aurora, if you recall, the democratic governor of colorado said this isn't about gun control issue, not even this is not even about the gun show loophole issue, so it's -- it's interesting. this, i imagine, will spark the debate that aurora -- as bad as aurora was, this has to spark at least some debate. not only about the gun show loophole, but about schools and
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how they defend themselves and the rights of law-abiding citizens to defend themselves and being aable to operate the dangerously ill from guns because that's what we don't know what -- this is mujahedin. >> that was a debate also because of the clinical history. >> absolutely. absolutely. >> of the suspect in aurora. i do know that after virginia tech colleges across the country were under legal obligation and moral obligation to take steps and very different kinds of alert systems were put in place. kristin walker is at the white house where the president was notified around 10:30 this morning, so that's about an hour after this took place after the incident first started at 9:30 this morning, and the president was notified by john brennan and has also spoken since with the fbi director, director mueller. kristin. >> that's correct, andrea. he has also spoken with the governor of connecticut. white house officials say he is
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monitoring this situation. he is getting regular updates. white house press secretary jay carney holding his daily briefing. he was peppered with questions about the president's reaction, and carney said, look, he is going to with hold his reaction until he has more details, but he is obviously watching these horrific tragic events unfold along with the rest of the country. here's a little bit more of what white house press secretary jay carney had thoughs a few minutes ago. take a listen. >> i really encourage all of us to give a moment here to focus on what is an unfolding tragedy in connecticut, and not to engage in washington policy battles that are long-running. that they -- we do that often and it's appropriate and i'm sure the day for this will come, but today support that day in our mind. we'll focus right now on what's happening in connecticut. >> and, andrea, that was
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carney's response to a question about whether or not this event would spark the president to get reengaged in his efforts for stiffer gun control, and carney making the point that today is not the day to have that conversation. today is the day to essentially be focused on the victims in connecticut. carney also made the point that the president is a father. he is a husband. he is watching these events unfold in that capacity as well as the president and carney says it is likely that we will hear from president obama a little bit later on today. as you know, andrea, it is customary for president obama to come out and to address the nation when such a tragedy occurs, so it seems as though that is something he is currently considering, but, again, right now the white house really withholding its response until they have more information about what exactly occurred and the events that unfolded, but president obama getting updated throughout the morning, throughout the afternoon, and he was notified at about 10:30 this morning by his national security
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advisor, john brennan. clearly in close contact with him as they all watch these horrific events. andrea. >> kristen, thank you. i know you're standing by there at the white house. jeff goldberg, what is the chal inc. here for washington with -- to work with governors, to work with state and local officials who are now governor malloy is dealing with the emergency, but he is going to move very quickly to try to show some new leadership here. >> well, you know, there has to be -- the sides in this are so polarized. you have a gun lobby that doesn't want any regulation whatsoever, any background checking whatsoever. 40% of all guns sold in this country legally are sold without background checks, so there's -- people call this the loophole, but it's bigger than a loophole. that's one area. one of the other issues -- this is why the conversation always goes off the rails -- is that people in the anti-gun side of things tend to demonize the legal gun owners and treat them
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as barbarians instead of people that they have to have a dialogue with, so you have -- brady campaign is in the middle. they've done a good job in my coverage of nondemonizing people who own guns and believe even in the right of self-defense. >> to that point they were here yesterday. we did a segment on this very subject, and they said they were not arguing with the second amendment. they're -- >> they've given that fight up. >> they're talking about the 40% who are not covered at all by any kind of background checks. >> you know, dan gross, the president, you know, i was speaking to him recently about this. there's the loophole issue, and there's this separate issue, which is how do you keep the non-adjudicated mentally ill, people who haven't gone to -- people who haven't been committed involuntary, how do you keep them from gaining access to weapons? it's a very small portion of the mentally ill community, but this rizs questions that make the gun show loophole look like an easy problem, because, you know, you're talking about psychiatrists and therapists
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reporting people they feel might one day be dangerous. it's a very, very -- we don't know who this person -- we don't know anything about these people, but we know from past experiences, giffords, aurora, and going back to columbine we know that mental illness, this is the vektor. it's mental illness, plus access to weapons, and that is a -- that's something that has to be explored deeply, even though it's xwred reply troubling about medical privacy issues, et cetera, but it's something that has to be done. >> let's listen in on the local coverage right now, wvip. >> when this all went down. again, the governor being briefed at the moment. he might be leaving this building soon. we're told he is going to be heading up the road to that press conference in just a little while, but again, very much a somber scene out here right outside of the sandy hook school where we continue to hear that more children have been -- have passed because of this awful shooting. again, we're expecting to learn more about the gunman, more about the motives. once police give says an update
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in just a little while, and we're starting to see family members, parents possibly heading to this staging area. not really wanting to talk to the media, of course. such a sensitive topic for this community. everybody that we spoke to has, you know, been so upset by what happened. let's show you what one parent had to say about the teacher who stepped up and saved the kids at her school. >> wvit's reporter there on the scene. joining us is colin goddard, a survivor of virginia tech. that shooting still carries several bullets in his body, and has become an advocate many favor of controls. you are going through this experience now watching this. obviously an elementary school and a different experience than you hilary clinton but share
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with this whatever this brings to mind and this horrible day at virginia tech. >> i'm still trying to wrap my head around what happened in oregon earlier this week. you know, when i saw on twitter this morning that this had happened, i sunk in my chair, you know. you really can't do justice to what these kids and what these teachers have just experienced the violence, the intensity, the sadness. this is not something that should be normal in our country. this is not something that other countries experience like we do. today is the day for sympathy. today is the day to be with your loved ones to tell people who you're close to how much they mean to you, you know. we have to think about what we're going to do after today, what we're going to do between now and the next major shooting that happens. our decision makers think this is something they can't influence, this is something they think they can't do anything about. the majority of us don't want to see these things continue to happen and live in a country like this. we need to let them know that we want to live in a better country than this. we want -- that we're better than this.
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you know? it's -- it kills me every time i see this. i try to put it towards more motivation to keep doing, to keep calling for changes torque keep calling for improvements in our society across all levels so that these things don't keep happening to other people. >> colin, right now we're going to go to the news conference with the connecticut state officials. >> as can you imagine, the governor is horrified by what's happened. he is meeting with the families right now. his chief concern is to get the families, the information they need as quickly as possible. that's why he is not here. i'm going to introduce lieutenant paul vants who will talk about what's going on so far. you are interested in information. we would like to get you that information as quickly as possible wrshl the chief concern was making sure that the family has information as quickly as
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possible, and that's where he is now. >> good afternoon. i will give you basic and brief information as we know it now. newtown police received a 911 call for an emergency at the elementary school. newtown p.d. upon obtaining information contacted the connecticut state police and requested assistance from state police and sounding -- they responded to the school and with newtown police immediately upon arrival entered the school and began a complete active shooter search of the building. that included checking every door, every crack, every krif is, every portion of that school. our main objective was to evacuate as quickly and as efficiently as possible any and all students and faculty in the school. the entire school was searched.
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that was accomplished. a staging area was set up. students and staff were put into that staging area, and soon thereafter the children were -- staff were reunited with their parents and loved ones. there were several fatalities at the scene. both students and staff. there is no information relative to that. that's being released at this time until we've made complete and proper notification. the shooter is diocesed inside the building. there's a great deal of work that is undertaken immediately upon locating the shooter, and that is there's a great deal of search warrant activity, there's a great deal of law enforcement activity both in and out of state to make sure we cover all the bases relative to that specific individual. sufficed to say, the scene is secure. state police major crime squad, newtown police department, danbury state's attorney and many agencies are working together to answer all the questions surrounding exactly what happened. as was said well, will keep you
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briefed and keep you informed on a regular basis. we will put everything out via our website and with the press conferences. i'll turn it back over right now. >> the governor took a call from president obama a little while ago who was calling to express his condolences and condolences on behalf of the nation and pledged whatever resources the federal government could bring to bare to assist the families and to assist in the investigation. we will get you information as soon as we can get the families the information. that's where the governor is. at some point later today the governor will be here, and we will set up regular briefings. thank you. >> and so without any specifics -- >> i apologize. we will not be able to answer any questions. as i said, the scene is secure. the situation is secure. we will notify you shortly before weather we will come back for another briefing as quickly
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as we can. the public is not in danger. that's correct. >> lieutenant, everything here, right? all the briefings here? >> right here. >> that is the headline. the public is not in danger any longer. that is lieutenant jay paul vantz of the connecticut state police. they did not give any information about the numbers of people who had been shot, killed, or wounded. the shooter who had been shot is inside the school. it is a crime scene. they have law enforcement agencies on the scene and search warrants are in process. all of the students and staff have been evacuated to a staging area where children were reunited with their parents. as you heard from the governor's aide, governor malloy is at the scene, but is with the families, and that is his priority is to be with the families giving them information comforting them. he will then brief later. he did take a call from the president who offered his
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condolences to governor daniel malloy of connecticut. with me here is susan paige and jeffrey goldberg. jeff, we also have with us collin goddard who survived the shooting in virginia tech. collin, you became an advocate for -- to prevent gun violence. from your perspective since virginia tech, what progress, if any, has been made? >> there's been very little progress. we're still focussing on getting the american people to understand that there are things that we can do together to make these things likely to happen again to other people. you know, that's the unfortunate thing. we've seen these mass shootings and we express our condolences. we express our sympathies, and that's when it ends. there is no action of that. to get together and call on our decision makers to change things to give any better nation that we all want and deserve.
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>> as you sperned at virginia tech, the families of those affected are horrified as they go to the scene of these emergencies. here is a father at the scene in connecticut. >> i could try to explain it, but i'm sure i would fail. there is no words -- there's no words that i could come up with that would even come close to describing the sheer terror of hearing that your son is in a place or your child is in a place where there's been violence. you don't know the details of that violence. you can't do anything to immediately help them or protect them. that is a powerless and terrifying experience. >> collin goddard, take us back to virginia tech and how that situation evolved. tell us what happened that day on that campus. what did you experience? >> there really isn't any way to
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describe it. i mean, it's nothing like you've seen in movies or read about in the newspaper. it's the most terrifying experience that you could ever imagine. my parents got a phone call telling them that their son was in the hospital, that he had been shot one time, to come down as quickly as they could, and half an hour later they get a call from the hospital saying he has been shot twice and another half an hour later he has been shot three times. your parents don't even know what's going on until they see you. that's what every parent wants is just to hold their child and to embrace their child. this is a time where -- when you have to do that. this is a time when you realize how precious life is, how important it is that we keep each other safe, how important it is that we come together as a community and bond and be one together in times like this. you know? you don't know the feeling of seeing this again happen with another town of americans -- of american city on the tv screen. it brings you right back to everything that you experienced yourself, you know, and as much
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as it gets you down, i have no choice but to put it towards motivation to keep doing this, to keep having this conversation, to keep bringing new people into this conversation with the belief that we are better than this. i don't know what else to say. >> collin goddard, well, it clearly motivated you to take a big turn in your life. kristen welker at the white house, we understand from governor malloy's aide that the president did call the governor with condolences. >> he did. that's right. president obama spoke with governor malloy and offered his condolences. he also spoke with fbi director mueller. he was notified about this tragic ens dent at 10:30 this morning by his national security advisor john brennan. he has been monitoring this situation all morning, all afternoon. he is continuing to get updates. the white house right now really reserving really the information about how he responded. he is waiting to give his response until he has more
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information. we're told it is likely will he speak later on this afternoon or early evening. jay carney just wrapped up. he got a number of questions about whether or not this incident would insight president obama to get reengaged in the effort to bring about stiffer gun control laws. that is something that president obama has spoken about in the past. carney's reaction to those questions, andrea, is that today is not the day to discuss those types of topics. discuss those topics. today, the white house, this administration will be focusing on the victims in connecticut and really monitoring the situation there and providing assistance they might be able to to the people of connecticut. andrea? >> thank you so much. we are talking about newtown, connecticut. and it's about an hour and a half from new york city. and this with several victims in the danbury hospital and also as
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many as 26 may be dead, children as well as adults. all children and staff from the hospital -- from the school, rather, have been evacuated safely according to lieutenant paul vance of the state police. this is the reaction of the children after they left the school. >> well, when i was out in the hall, when, like, everybody heard the bullets -- >> yeah. >> they, like, went in to a total panic. >> an how are you doing? what went on in your head as this was happening? >> whoa. >> i was in the gym an i heard a loud -- well, i heard like seven loud booms and then the gym teachers told us to go in the corner. so we all huddled and i kept hearing these booming noises.
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and the -- we all started -- well, we didn't scream. we started crying so all of the gym teachers told us to go in to the office where no one could find us. so then police officer came in and told us to run outside. so we did. and we came in the fire house and waited for our parents. >> jeff goldberg, as a parent, how do you find any value teaching moment or how can you comfort children to deal with the violence of every day life in america? >> well, i mean, the good thing is that this kind of violence isn't an every day thing. you know, look. if you live in chicago and you have random shoot thags are regular -- >> highest homicide rate. >> generally going down. >> children in chicago are being killed horrifically. >> any children, obviously, who
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dies is one child too many in a homicide. whether it's gun or knife or anything else. but the rates are going down so you can say, look, it is actually a relatively safe country given the fact and this is what we have to focus on. there are 300 million guns in the united states of america. between 280 million and 300 million. 4 million guns come online every year so we're a country saturated with guns and somewhat of a miracle this doesn't happen more than it does. i mean, what do you tell your -- i don't knowful i'm trying to work but that right now. how do you explain evil and breakdown in policy an people who aren't fit to carry a pen knife much less a weapon have access to weapons? even in the state with relatively tough gun laws like connecticut. i don't know how you explain any of that except to say that maybe this is the day to talk about those issues. as much as i understand the impulse to say, this is not the
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day for politics, maybe we should be having a frank discussion about how to defend ourselves against this kind of violence, how to shape policy so that doesn't happen quite so often. collin goddard, your thoughts? >> we have to have this conversation. i mean, the 32 of us who are killed every single day, this happens all the time. if you follow the logic of you can't talk about this, there's never a day to talk about this. we should have had this conversation yesterday. we should have had this before the shooting in oregon and wisconsin, before the shooting in colorado, before the shooting in virginia. i can go on. this is a conversation long overdue. this is what the american people need to understand is the next part of this. after the days of sympathy and empathy and condolence is sent, it cannot end there. we have to make the decisionmakers believe as we believe that we are better than this. we deserve a nation better than that. they can make decisions to make
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us safer in the churches and schools and daycare centers and streets. it is past due to get those things done. >> just to remind everyone, this is newtown, connecticut. we are talking about a shooting that started around 9:30 this morning. according to lieutenant paul vance of the connecticut state police, all of the students, all of the children, this is k through 4 all have been evacuated and as well as the staff. they have all been brought to a staging area to be reunited with family and parents. there will be another briefing later. governor malloy on the scene and at the staging area with the families and comforting the families and communicating the latest to them. his top priority according to aides and he will be giving a briefing later on today. he did resef a call of president obama offering support and condolences. the fbi are there in support of a lead law enforcement officials
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which are, of course, the connecticut state police and local police, as well. the danbury hospital, a trauma 3 grade hospital, had three patients earlier and said the hospital as a precautionary measure in lockdown for the protection and safety of those employees as well as for the privacy and security of the patients, as well. and those who were victims. we have reporters at the scene. we are going to be bringing you all of the details throughout the day. this is going to ignite another conversation about gun violence. we don't know how long that will last. >> we know -- we know if we started -- i'm sorry. >> here's a local reporter with an update from the scene. >> a little bit more information. now, we are hearing that the shooter did have ties to the school but police haven't released that suspect's name. what they do tell us is that the shooter was found dead inside the school. and now they're actually securing search warrants so they can go ahead and then search the school and start their
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investigation. they do say that that whole scene is secure and they'll be starting that investigation. now, one other note. we are told that governor malloy was called by president obama who offered his condolences to the families dealing with so much here in newtown and said that the government will pledge any resources needed to this community in order to get through this. >> that coverage from wvit in newtown, connecticut. we will, of course, continue to have all of the latest information from newtown, connecticut, where 26 are feared dead including 18 children and 8 adults. craig melvin now takes over our coverage from new york. craig? >> thank you so much. i'm in for tamron hall today. following the breaking news. a massacre at an elementary school in newtown. nbc has confirmed at this point that 26 have been killed. including 18 children. and eight adults. also confirmed among the dead,
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the 20-year-old shooter who we're told is from connecticut. law enforcement officials telling us that he wore all black. he carried two guns. the weapons have been recovered. we heard just a few moments ago from lieutenant paul vance with state police there. telling officials there, telling the reporters who gathered that the scene is secure. that the public is safe at this point. he also indicated that they were -- they were serving search warrants, search warrants according to state police have been issued in and out of the state of connecticut. newtown for folk who is are not familiar with the area, about an hour and a half outside new york city. this is -- this is about an hour and a half outside new york city. northern fairfield county. small town. some 27,000, 28,000 people in newtown, connecticut. we have heard from a number of parents and students throughout the course of the morning. describe the scene that played
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out shortly after 9:30 in newtown, connecticut. this is sandy hook elementary school. in newtown. this is a k-4 school. kindergarten through fourth grade. so the 18 children who are dead there are between the ages of 5 and 10 years old. this is the police chief just a short time ago. >> just after 9:30 this morning newtown police received a 911 call from the emergency at the elementary school. newtown pd upon obtaining information as to the situation requested assistance of state police and surrounding local police departments. on and off duty police troopers responded and immediately upon arrival with newtown police entered the school and began a complete active shooter search of the building that including checking every door, every

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